Representation of Symbolic and non-Symbolic Magnitude in Iranian Population

Representation of symbolic and non-symbolic magnitude

  • Ali Jahan Derpartmnet of Speach Therapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation Sciences, Tbriz university of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran
  • Mohamad Ali Nazari Department of Neuroscience, Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran
  • Maryam Moghaddam Salimi Department of Physiotherapy, Faculty of Rehabilitation sciences, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.
  • Sanam Tvakoli Department of Physiotherapy, School of Primary and Allied Health Care, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Monash University.Victoria, Australia
  • Abbas Shafaee Department of Radiology, Faculty of Paramedics, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran.


Objective: Association between number and space is called the spatial-numerical association response code or SNARC effect. According to the SNARC, the smaller numbers are associated with the left space and larger numbers are associated with the right space in an imaginary mental line. This interaction could be a predictor for children’s mathematical skills or learning deficit. Various studies have been investigated this effect in Iranian population, however the existence of the SNARK effect is under controversy in these studies. So, the aim of the present study was to investigate the number-space association in Iranian population. This study postulated that if the SNARK effect is sensitive to different task presentation, symbolic and non-symbolic Posner cuing task. 

Materials and Methods: Twenty-seven right-handed medical students (age= 24±2 years) participated in the present study. We used two symbolic and non-symbolic Posner cueing tasks and another parity judgment task with eastern Arabic numbers: 1 (1), 4 (4), 6 (6), and 9 (9). We assumed that different patterns of SNARC would be revealed in different tasks.

Result: No main or interaction effects were seen in the non-symbolic Posner task (p>0.05). In the symbolic Posner cueing task, only the magnitude was significant with slower processing for large numbers (p>0.05). However, a partial SNARC effect and MARC effect was revealed in the parity task.

Conclusion: This study showed task dependency of SNARC effect in Iranian people. In addition, MARC effect was observed in Iranian people.

Keywords: Number, representation, SNARC, MARC, mental number line

Original Article